Territory planning, also known as strategic delivery planning, is a crucial component of successful delivery operations. Effective territory planning can be challenging, yet it’s a must for running efficient operations.
There are many considerations to weigh when creating a territory plan, such as cost efficiency, delivery speed, and the ability to adapt plans to accommodate changing conditions. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of territory plans along with some useful templates, examples, and how to leverage the right technology to streamline your territory planning processes.
In this article:
- What is a Territory Plan?
- 5 Basic Steps to Create an Effective Territory Plan
- Territory Plan Template: The Key Elements of a Territory Plan
- Territory Plan Examples
- Create and Optimize Territory Plans with Strategic Planner from Wise Systems
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Territory Plan?
A territory plan is essential for effectively managing last-mile delivery operations, especially for organizations that service a broad geographic area or a large customer base spread across various regions. Essentially, it’s the process of dividing a large service area into smaller segments (territories) that are assigned to a specific driver.
5 Basic Steps to Create an Effective Territory Plan
There are numerous factors to consider in territory planning, such as order volumes, delivery schedules, and vehicle and driver availability. To account for these various factors, several steps are involved in the territory planning process.
1. Data collection
The first step in developing a territory plan is to collect relevant data related to delivery efficiency. For instance, you’ll want to know how many deliveries each driver can complete during a shift.
2. Geographical segmentation
This step involves dividing the geographic area into smaller territories to ensure efficient coverage and streamline delivery routes. Geographic segmentation can be based on zip codes, neighborhoods, or other factors such as natural geographical boundaries.
3. Demand analysis & forecasting
It’s essential to understand the demand patterns that will impact each territory, such as the frequency of deliveries and peak times. You’ll use this data to inform the next step.
4. Resource allocation
Assign delivery vehicles, drivers, and other resources to each territory based on demand, driver and vehicle availability, and other factors. If you find that a territory requires multiple drivers or other additional resources, break it up into smaller areas.
Another way to resolve this issue is to shift customers on the territory’s borders into adjacent territories.
5. Monitor performance & make adjustments
Set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each territory, such as cost per delivery, customer satisfaction scores, and delivery times. Monitor these metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your territory plan and make adjustments as needed.
Following these steps will enable you to create an effective territory plan that supports effective route optimization and cost management.
Territory Plan Template: The Key Elements of a Territory Plan
Your territory plan should include all the information you gathered as well as outline your strategy for meeting delivery needs throughout your service area while maximizing resource utilization and cost-efficiency.
The key elements of a territory plan include:
- Territory Overview: Define the boundaries of each delivery territory and provide an overview of the demographics and customer base in the area. Additionally, include a summary of your existing delivery operations in the area, if applicable.
- Territory Analysis: Include the results of your demand analysis for each territory, including peak times, delivery frequency, commonly encountered construction and weather conditions, and other relevant factors.
- Resource Allocation: Provide details about the delivery vehicles, delivery professionals, and other resources allocated to each territory.
- Route Planning and Optimization: Describe the approach to creating efficient delivery routes, including how certain variables will be handled, such as driver schedule conflicts, customer delivery time windows, traffic delays, weather conditions, and other unexpected changes.
- Performance Objectives and KPIs: Establish key performance indicators for each territory, such as average delivery times, percent of on-time deliveries, cost per delivery, driver safety, customer satisfaction, and other metrics.
- Customer Service Strategy: Describe how you’ll manage customer communications, such as ETAs and delivery updates. Outline your process for handling complaints or issues.
- Technology: Provide an overview of the different technologies and/or tools you currently use in your delivery operations, as well as plans for future technology adoption.
- Risk Management and Contingency Planning: Identify potential risks and their impact on your delivery operations. Describe your plans to address potential disruptions.
- Continuous Performance Monitoring & Improvement: Describe how your KPIs will be measured and a schedule for reevaluating performance. Provide an overview of how you’ll leverage these metrics for continuous performance improvement.
Territory Plan Examples
Most examples of territory plans are sales-related, but they can still serve as a valuable reference as you create your own territory plan. Here are a few resources to check out:
- Slide Team: Here you’ll find 5 downloadable sales territory templates you can customize and adapt to your delivery territory planning needs.
- Indeed: This resource describes the sales territory planning process and also includes a downloadable territory plan template. There’s also an example of a completed territory plan.
- Template.net: Review the five different territory plan templates offered here and download one that best meets your needs. While these templates are also sales-focused, you can adapt them for delivery territory planning.
Create and Optimize Territory Plans with Strategic Planner from Wise Systems
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— Wise Systems (@goWiseSystems) December 3, 2022
Strategic delivery planning is complex, and there are many factors to consider throughout the planning process. Gathering and analyzing the necessary data and creating an optimized territory plan is a time-consuming process when done manually, making it difficult to make adjustments.
With Strategic Planner from Wise Systems, you can build optimized delivery territory plans with ease, improve resource allocation and utilization, and maximize the efficiency of your delivery operations. Strategic Planner allows you to import existing territory maps, move customers to different territories, create repeatable route plans, and edit service patterns and routes.
You can then use your delivery territory plans to inform your route optimization processes with our Route Planner and monitor performance to inform decision-making with our Performance Manager solution. Request a demo today to learn more about the Wise Systems delivery automation platform and discover how Strategic Planner can streamline your territory planning process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is territory planning and management?
Territory planning and management in the context of delivery operations involves strategically organizing and overseeing delivery activities within a specific geographical area. This includes dividing the area into manageable sections, optimizing delivery routes, allocating resources such as vehicles and staff, and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Why create a territory plan?
Creating a territory plan is crucial for efficient delivery operations, and it offers several benefits, including:
- Enhancing Efficiency: Optimizing routes and resource allocation reduces costs and delivery times.
- Improving Customer Satisfaction: Ensures timely and reliable deliveries, enhancing customer experience.
- Streamlining Operations: Provides a structured approach to managing delivery tasks, reducing chaos and confusion.
- Making Data-Driven Decisions: Facilitates informed decision-making based on territory-specific data and trends.
How do you come up with a territory plan?
To create a territory plan, break up your complete service area into smaller territories. Collect and analyze data to understand the delivery patterns in each territory.
Then, determine the resources necessary to serve each territory (such as drivers and vehicles) and allocate resources accordingly. Establish KPIs, continuously monitor your performance metrics, and make continuous improvements to your plan.
What should be included in a territory plan?
A territory plan should include clear definitions for each territory, demand analysis findings, details about resource allocation, KPIs and plans for monitoring and reviewing performance, how you’ll address customer service issues, and an analysis of potential risks and contingency plans.